Thursday, December 18, 2014

Philly Cheesesteak Pizza - Papa John's

Philly Cheesesteak Pizza - Papa John's
There's a new Papa John's pizza on the block, and it's attempting to emulate a food I grew up with, so the steaks (get it?) are high on this one. I am located in New Jersey, and Philadelphia, which is known for it's soft pretzels and cheesesteaks, is literally right next door. I grew up eating these things from all the great restaurants. Pat's. Geno's. You name it, I tried it. Although I am not loyal to any one restaurant, I know a real cheesesteak when I taste one. Can Papa John's actually do a good job with this one?

As soon as I opened the box I was skeptical.

On the website, this pizza is described as:

"original" crust topped with a creamy garlic sauce, thin-sliced steak, sliced onions, green peppers, plus mozzarella and provolone cheese
As you can see, this thing is very heavy on the cheese and garlic sauce, there are a few green pepper slices, but where is the steak? I see a few little bits here and there, but this already looks like it's going to be way more cheese than steak, and that has me nervous from the get-go.

I grabbed a slice and took a bite, and sure enough, this is cheesy, garlicky, and barely steak-y. My first bite was filled with that garlicky sauce, which reminded me a lot of the crème fraîche from the Greek-style Aldi pizza I reviewed, it's interesting, but I didn't enjoy it all that much. It was way more creamy and cheesey to me than garlic, and from what I remember growing up, a ton of garlic isn't the norm for a Philly cheesesteak anyway. (If so, everyone in Philly is doing it wrong.) That cheesy sauce combined with all of the actual cheese...was just too much for me. There wasn't nearly enough peppers, onions, or steak pieces to balance it out. Plus, when I was able to get a bit of steak in my bite of pizza, it was super dry. The "meat" on this thing is worthy of being in quotations marks, and it's pretty much Steakumms quality.
This Jersey girl is not impressed. If you like extra extra cheese on your pizzas, this might be something new and interesting to try, but it really doesn't live up to it's name at all. This is way more cheese than steak, and while it's not bad (and we still ate the entire pizza without a problem) I would never order it again.
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